enedict Cumberbatch managed to utilise the wrangling skills he picked up filming Oscar contender Power of Dog to save a petrified family penned in a field by a herd of cows.
The actor, who spent two months living in Montana to get into the role of surly rancher Phil Burbank, was taking a beach break when he saw the opportunity to put his newly found cowboy skills to the test.
He told Graham Norton: “I came back from shooting the film in August and we were off to the beach.
“To get there we had to cross a field and in the field was a petrified family who just couldn’t move, they were frozen because of a herd of cows with calves.
“I thought, ‘I can do this,’ and I just sort of parted the waves of cattle. The family was like, ‘That was incredible. Hey, aren’t you Sherlock?’ It was very un-Sherlock activity!’”
The Oscar nominated actor also revealed director Jane Campion encouraged him to stay in character during breaks from filming.
He said: “She was very secure about all the things I was insecure about and said, ‘Do whatever you have to do to feel ownership of this very different lived experience.’
“So, I went off to Montana for two months to find out what it is like to live on a ranch and to experience all those things you see in the film. It was incredible and so far from anything I have ever done.”
It is Oscar-winning filmmaker Jane Campion’s first movie since 2009 and has been nominated for 11 Oscars including best actor for Cumberbatch and actress for co-star Kirsten Dunst.
In the psychological drama, Benedict plays a secretive and cruel rancher whose brother brings home his new wife and her son to the famiy’s 1920s Montana ranch.
Speaking at its LA premiere, Dunst revealed: “Jane gave Benedict permission to be Phil on set.
“Because Benedict is a very kind person, he’s very English. He apologises a lot, he’s just someone who will take too much time and energy to say ‘good morning’.”